Blindsight by Maurice Gee: Review

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“Father taught us how not to love” begins and ends Maurice Gee’s Blindsight. Narrated by Alice ferry, a retired scientist, we look back over the mistakes of her families past. This novel revolves around the mysterious relationship of Alice and Gordon who are supposedly sent in “divergent ways” due to their “father’s greediness in love”. Alice introduces Gordon as smart and motivated kid who had “come top in every subject” but becomes derailed as he enters secondary -Alice blames this on puberty- and then diminishes into an old homeless man. This novel pivots when a young man called Adrian, claiming to be her grandson, shows up on her door step. Alice, horrified but overjoyed, refuses to reveal the relationship between her and Gordon at first glance, but after confessing Gordon as her sibling, she rejects the fathering of any child and pretends Gordon is dead. However as the book closes to an end, Gordon is revealed to Adrian as Alice informs him she is behind Gordon’s fragile state. Maurice Gee's habit of sensationalist twists in the last five pages has once again come alive in Blindsight. He presents the novel in a first person narrative where Alice whisks back into her childhood and tells us how she and her brother have “come together”. Maurice Gee successfully uses first person narrative to help Alice clearly speak to the reader and become the characters confidant. Alice mentions many circumstances to us but never goes into specific detail. She clearly believes that we will “learn them when the time is right”. It's clear she has things to hide, though whether from us, others, or from herself is an open question. As she tells Adrian of Cyril Handy death, she says “I had troubles of my own” when asked why she didn’t comfort Gordon. “Troubles” is all she says however she doesn’t explain them. As a first person narrative, Alice clearly dictates what is revealed to the reader and therefore she is free to lie to us. Despite first person narrative revealing the inner...
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